FORT WAYNE — There was some doubt Mt. Vernon cross country runner Aaron Rush would compete this season after sustaining a wrist injury in a boating accident.
He’s run all right, and he’ll keep on running, all the way to the state meet.
Both Rush and fellow sophomore Christian Noble claimed two of the 10 spots available to runners whose teams did not advance out of Saturday’s IHSAA semistate at IPFW’s Plex.
Rush checked in 21st at 16:36 for 5,000 meters, four positions and nine seconds in back of Noble. They’ll be the first MV runners to go to state since Mike Mead in 2008. The state meet is Saturday in Terre Haute.
The MV boys placed 10th of 20 teams with 223 points, while the Marauders’ girls squad was 18th with 383.
“We had key people we wanted to get, and I think I got those people,” said Rush, who had about 2 1/2 seconds to spare and was ninth of the advancing individuals.
“For Aaron to come back and to fight his way to this point, that is a testimony to him,” MV coach Bruce Kendall said. “And they’re both sophomores, so we’ve just got to get this deer-in-the-headlights thing over with and just run.”
His injury overcome, Rush had to shake off other issues.
“That (hilly home) straightaway is an agonizing pain that I’ll never forget,” he said. “I didn’t have anybody to draft or to run with.”